Taken from “How to Meet and Work with Spirit Guides” by Ted Andrews
Mediumship and channeling is more than just a modern day phenomenon. Communication with spirits, angels and even the deceased has been around as long as humanity. In the ancient world the Oracles of Delphi are probably the most famous. On the slopes of Mount Parnasus was a long deep chasm. A temple to Apollo, the god of prophecy, was erected here. A priestess called Pythia would sit upon a tripod over the seat of the fumes. After some time the fumes would induce a trance-like condition and she would speak in phrases that were considered divinely inspired. Questions were answered and prophecies uttered from this oracle one day per month.
Even in the Western world where fundamentalist Christians are quick to condemn such activities as evil, scriptural references are found in support of it. The Biblical Witch of Endor communed with the spirit realm for King Saul and even Jesus conversed with Moses and Elijah before the apostles Peter, James and John (Matthew 17: 1-8). These are merely two of many such references.
In the modern world we have seen a growth and rebirth in this communication process. In 1843 a near-illiterate by the name of Andrew Jackson Davis drew attention to the spirit realm through his ability to see into it and use knowledge from it to cure diseases. He became known as the Poughkeepsie Seer.
The Fox sisters (Katie & Margaret) are considered the first spiritualist mediums in the United States. In 1848 they heard rappings alleged to be communications from spiritual beings. Using information from these rappings, the girls discovered that a former occupant of their house had been murdered. Although psychic researchers speculate that they drew poltergeist activity because of their age, their activities created a wave of interest in spiritualism.
The birth of modern spiritualism in the mid 1800’s would lead to the influence of such famous figures such as Arthur Ford after the turn of the century. Arthur Ford was a Philadelphia medium who, through his seances, allegedly made contact with the dead son of Bishop James A Pike. He helped establish the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship which at one time boasted membership of leaders from every major faith.
One of the most famous and most influential mediums of modern times was Edgar Cayce. A deeply religious man from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, as a child he spoke with an angel and even saw visions of his dead grandfather. He provided accurate readings on health, personal and social matters and even gave long-range predictions of geological changes and world events. As familiarity with Edgar Cayce spread, so did the possibility of spirit communication.
The mediums and oracles of the past are now the channelers of the present. These include JZ Knight and her communication with a 35 000 year old discarnate entity called Ramtha. It also includes such figures as Jane Roberts who channeled Seth and Jach Pursel and his communication with the being known as Lazarus. These are but a few.
So what is mediumship and channeling? To the modern spiritualist, a medium is defined as one ‘whose organism is sensitive to the vibrations of the spirit world and through whose instrumentality, intelligences in that world are able to convey messages and produce phenomena.” While channeling also encompasses this definition it has come to imply much more, for mediumship has come to be associated with communication with discarnate individuals and the proving of the survival of the personality after death.
Channeling also involves a sensitivity to the spirit realm, but it has become a catch-all term for most forms and phenomena of the psychic and creative realms of life. A person who has creative inspiration says they channeled it from some source (often indefinable). An actor channels his/her character. When Hal Holbrook portrays Mark Twain, he could be considered a channeler by many people, although to many he is simply a gifted interpreter. This demonstrates the catch-all aspect the term ‘channel’ has acquired.
One who is intuitive is channeling perceptions from the higher self or soul. One who discovers a new form of healing, a new thought, a new perception, a solution to a problem or a new invention can be considered channeling. The channeling can be an actual spirit guide contact or it can be an image of a spirit guide contact from your own intuition and Higher Self. The difficulty arises in defining the source of the channeled material and the proving its legitimacy.
Most literature teaches us that there are levels and dimensions of reality beyond the physical. If this is true, it should also be possible to connect with them. Mediumship and channeling are forms of extra-dimensional communication. Whether this is done through telepathy (although some believe that telepathy only applies to two embodied persons), intuition, trance or any of a variety of methods for altering consciousness is irrelevant. It is the message, the communication which will determine the worth of the channeling. It is the accuracy of the information which provides the true evidence of the phenomena.
Many believe that the messages only appeal to those who are discontent and uncreative in their own lives. Some of these communications are nothing more than empty platitudes for such individuals. Some channelers and mediums use the stuff of fiction and wishful thinking to draw attention to themselves. They are taking material advantage of this ‘modern spiritual band wagon.’ Many who were lucky to get any attention now use pseudo-accents and proclaim elaborate, unprovable sources for their channeling material – all with great success.
Many channelers incorrectly believe they are in true contact with a particular being or master. For example, a person who channels Jesus may not truly be channeling Jesus. This may only be what he or she is capable of understanding that energy to be. It is as close as he or she can get to defining it. This isn’t wrong in and of itself, but it is misleading. It indicates the need for a great deal of spiritual knowledge and maturity before ever placing yourself in a position of channeling and counseling for others.
Does that mean we should disregard all aspects of spirit contact and channeling? No. There are those who demonstrate strong evidence of the more ethereal realms by their communications. This includes contact with the deceased, communication with masters and teachers, contact with the angelic and the nature realm and even connections with extra-terrestrial life. The difficulty lies in determining the true from the false, the real from the illusionary.
This is a very powerful and magical time to be living. It is a time of greater stress and energy. It is a time of greater knowledge and awareness of the mystical aspects of life. Because of this, greater discrimination and care in the development process is even more important.
With the greater accessibility of knowledge there has been a tremendous influx of teachers in the metaphysical and psychic fields, many of whom do not have the appropriate background and schooling. Many have failed to learn how to dependently test what they themselves were taught. The process of ‘becoming’ is time consuming, and many people do not wish to put for the time and energy necessary for true knowledge and discernment. Many do not wish to take on that part of the responsibility.
There are quick ways of rending the veil to higher perceptions and levels of consciousness, along with opening to direct contact with other entities. However, if the wires cannot carry the load the current will become distorted, burnt out or misinterpreted. Channeling is very popular today, and there are individuals teaching how to do forms of trance channeling in weekend or week-long seminars. This can be dangerous, especially if the energy of the individual has not been properly cleaned, cleared, strengthened and prepared.
Often those with just a little knowledge feel they are constantly in control when in reality they are not. Even if the techniques have been learned in previous lives (which many channelers credit for their facility at the process), it still requires proper training to re-animate them in a beneficial manner. Regardless of the degree of initiation a soul may have gone through in the past – even if in the past the soul has been a master – it would still have to reconquer the lower and re-educate the higher self and expand it by renewed effort. Even the Master Jesus had to go through this process.
For true channeling to occur in the most beneficial manner, there must be individual preparation and purification. This includes a greater, in-depth knowledge of the spiritual sciences. Surface and superficial techniques and learning will not maintain you for long. Attempting to do so will result in a breakdown of your energy at some point – physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.
The key is understanding the function of our etheric body. The etheric body is the densest of the non-physical bodies. It vitalizes, energizes and protects the physical vehicle. It serves to ground the consciousness into physical life. It also filters out the more subtle energies and dimensions of life so that we are not overly distracted. Our primary focus is to be in the physical. It is this band of energy which is usually first detected by someone working to see the auric field.
The etheric forms around the physical body anytime between birth and puberty, most often between the ages of four and eight. Until the etheric body forms entirely, the astral plane (one of the more subtle dimensions that integrate with the physical) plays upon us and is recognized more fully. It is not filtered out. For this reason, many of the so-called imaginary playmates of young children are not really so imaginary. They are beings and entities of that plane.
Once the etheric is formed much of the subtle plays of energy are filtered from the conscious mind, although the subconscious will still be able to perceive them. As we grow and mature we can work to reopen our conscious awareness of those subtle realms. To do so we must learn to extend the consciousness out through the etheric to the realms beyond.
Lying between the etheric and the astral is a thin band of energy sometimes referred to as the atomic shield. It is a like a thin layer of atoms that filters out the stronger astral energies from physical consciousness. These are the strongest feeling and emotions that could play upon us and affect us.
When we begin active development, we must loosen this shield. We must stretch it for greater flexibility. This will enable us to extend our consciousness to the astral dimension and beyond. This stretching must be done carefully. It is comparable to the a warming up before any strenuous exercise. It will help prevent injury. If we were wishing to compete in gymnastics, we would go through a very lengthy period of daily training and work to develop flexibility and strength before we ever attempted anything too intricate.
Using improper techniques of development can create problems in your energy field. All of the following can make you more susceptible to tears and holes in your etheric energy field :
- Using drugs
- Opening to trance too soon
- Lack of concentrated, prolonged effort
- Lack of knowledge
- The inability to control your energies
- Not taking care of all aspects of your health
- Lack of exercise and fresh air
- Poor diet
- Negative habits
- Continued stress, upheavals, worries and emotional/mental traumas
Once that atomic shield is injured it is difficult to stop influences from outside energies until it is corrected. This may require closing down and shutting off all occult or metaphysical activities for a prolonged period.
Many of the more famous individuals who opened to trance and the subtle realms through quick methods are just now beginning to demonstrate problems in their lives. These include physical health problems, emotional and mental imbalances, etc. Initially they may have opened to some very high positive energies and entities. Because of the manner in which they opened (a tearing in the shield), however, over time other entities and energies were able to play upon them more actively. The individuals were not able to guard against the outside intrusions 24 hours a day although this is what was and is necessary when the energy field has been torn.